Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird hatchlings

Welcome Little Ones

Last week I wrote about the coming of Spring and the Mockingbirds that made a nest in our topiary just outside of our front door. I still find it odd that they did this with all of the foot traffic in and out of our home, but I guess they felt safe enough.

We’ve been watching Momma coming in and out from the nest a lot from our window. One time we saw her come back with a worm so we investigated once we knew she left. When we walked outside you could hear tiny little peeps. Lo and behold, we had 3 new babies in the nest and I was able to get a quick photo before Momma came back.

Life is beautiful, precious and just amazes me at times. We were blessed to see the birds build the nest, lay their eggs and now welcome the new babies. I’m still in awe with these precious little ones.

Mockingbirds are the Florida State Bird and are here all year round. They are about ten inches in length, sing beautiful songs and are excellent mimics. We’re keeping everyone away from the nest area so the babies and parents don’t stress. We can see that Momma keeps an ever watchful eye over her babies as Mockingbirds are known for fiercely defending their nests.

Take the time to slow down and breathe in the beauty and new life all around you during this very special season.

Have a lovely weekend!

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“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with life itself.” ~L.W. Gilbert

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Spring Solstice

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Spring Equinox is on Saturday, 3/20/2021. This marks the first official day of spring in the Northern hemisphere. On this day, the length of the day and night are almost equal.

The flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are nesting. We have a pair of what I believe are Mockingbirds that have made their nest just outside our front door in the topiary tree. We’ve been careful to keep the noise down, lights low and the gardeners away from that tree so that we do not disturb them. But it can be a little challenging since they are right at our front door. You can see the momma bird on her eggs keeping them nice and warm. I can’t wait for them to hatch! Very exciting!!

Have you checked your yard for any exciting new babies that may be coming soon? Would love to hear from you.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” ~Charles Dickens

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Daylight Savings Time

This Sunday marks Daylight Savings Time. We go to bed on Saturday night and at 12 am we are supposed to set our clocks forward 1 hour. An easy way to remember which way to set your clock is think “Spring forward, Fall back.”

But who started this and why? During World War I, President Roosevelt had the idea to follow the European model and suggested to Congress to start one standard time throughout our country. This was supposed to help us utilize our resources better. Thus they enacted the 1918 Standard Time Act which was meant to only be in effect for 7 months out of the year. After the war, the Standard Time Act was discontinued. However, some states still continued to follow it.

When World War II started, Congress imposed new legislation that was basically same as the 1918 Time Act but would be in effect for the entire year instead of only 7 months. This was repealed in 1945, and again some states kept following the Time Act.

In 1966 Congress passed new legislation that would permanently set a standard time for the entire nation. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not follow this legislation, as well as overseas US Territories.

So don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour Saturday night before going to bed. Hope you have a great weekend!

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Sources:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/daylight-saving-time-instituted

https://time.com/5005600/states-without-daylight-savings-time

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Thoughtful Thursday

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10 Essentials Oils for Colds and Flu

When I start to feel a little off, I always turn to my essential oils. They’re my first line of defense against colds or flu. Essential oils have wonderful therapeutic properties and help shorten the duration of the illness when used at the first signs of symptoms including itchy eyes, sore throat, cough, sneezing and mild fever or just the general overall feeling of being unwell.

My favorite way to use essential oils when I start to get sick is through steam inhalation in the shower or bath or by using a diffuser. You can rub some blends directly on your skin, however you need to use caution because they can be irritating to some. Also, if you are pregnant you should consult your doctor before using essential oils.

  • Basil – useful in treating colds, aches and pains
  • Bergamot – useful in treating fevers and coughs
  • Cinnamon – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs and viral infections
  • Clove – useful as an analgesic and antiseptic
  • Eucalyptus – useful in treating sore throats, coughs, sinusitis, aches, pains and as an antiseptic
  • Lavender – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs, sinus congestion
  • Peppermint – useful in treating fevers, flu and can ease breathing
  • Sandalwood – useful in treating colds
  • Tea Tree – useful in treating colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections
  • Thyme – useful in treating bacterial and viral infections also helps to boost immunity

There are many books and online resources for finding oil blends but I recently came across a great book by Stephanie Gerber titled “Essential glow.” Below are a few of her recipes and I encourage you to check out her site at HellowGlow.com

11 Essential Oil Diffuser Blends for Cold + Flu Season

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Thoughtful Thursday

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The Benefits of Exercise

I wake up groggy like most and go through my morning routine, sometimes half asleep. But before I do any work of any kind, I work my body. I do 30 minute weight training and 30 minute cardio either on the elliptical or outside for a walk, weather permitting. On the days I don’t do my workout, it takes me longer to get going.

My morning workout literally crank starts my engine. It gets my blood flowing and my mind starts to click along. Exercising increases your energy levels too. It also helps you feel better and puts you in a better mood to start your day. Working out tones your muscles and helps build bone density and helps you avoid injuries by maintaining your strength. Plus it helps with weight loss and to get a better night of sleep.

Now I’m not saying you have to workout for an hour a day. For some that’s too much and for others, it’s not enough. You need to create a workout routine that works for you. It doesn’t need to be complicated with lots of equipment. You can do yoga, sit ups, push ups or walk in place to name a few. Make it easy so you’ll do it and stick with it. If you have limitations, there is a lot of information available online for doing modified exercises. Before starting any new exercise routine you should consult with your doctor or health practitioner. Just moving your body for 5 minutes a day will benefit you greatly and make you feel good!

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Thoughtful Thursday

Gratitude

Gratitude is defined in the dictionary as:

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

Since I was little I always gave thanks for everything that came my way. I even gave thanks when things didn’t go according to plan or when things really went sideways for me. It was in these situations that I assumed there was a lesson to be learned, so I was grateful for that.

A few years ago I read an article where the writer practiced the art of daily gratitude by writing in a journal. I thought this was a really nice idea, so I started my daily journaling practice of gratitude. The idea is to write down 2-3 things everyday that you’re grateful for. It could be something as simple as seeing the sun rise or something more personal and deep, it’s up to you.

You don’t need expensive supplies to start, just a pen and a notebook. I normally practice my gratitude journaling at the end of the day. It helps to ground and center my mind after a long hectic day.

If you want to add a little pizazz to your gratitude journal, you can add art to your pages. It doesn’t have to be anything super detailed, fun doodles work great and it’s just plain fun. It’s a good way to unwind.

Another idea is to start a gratitude jar. Same concept as the journal but instead of writing in a notebook, you cut pieces of paper into 1″ – 2″ squares, write what your grateful for on the paper and drop it into the jar. This is a fun way to involve the whole family, especially the kids. It’s a beautiful practice to do everyday.

What are you grateful for today?

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Thoughtful Thursday

The Rabbit Hole of Negativity

Life today seems crazier than ever. There’s a lot making us unhappy and even a bit snarky. Sadly, the snarkiness tends to run downhill and hit our family and friends right in the face. It’s easier to be angry, afraid and unhappy. It’s kind of how our brains are wired.

But I find it hard to believe that we would rather feel these negative emotions on a daily basis versus being positive. Life has been throwing a lot us curve balls lately and nothing is going according to plan. But when you find yourself going down that rabbit hole of negativity, what do you do?

I recently came across a quote by a great life coach Brendon Burchard: “We can all have a bad day. But if we choose to live there, we’ll have a bad life.” This is so very true. Years ago I would fall into that rabbit’s hole, and honestly, I would be there for a while. It wasn’t until I started reading life changing books about letting negativity go that I got better at stopping these thoughts in my mind and changing my perspective.

Even with all the years of practice and the knowledge I’ve acquired, I still fall down that rabbit hole every now and again. But when I catch myself, I quickly climb out. I no longer hang out there. When you’re filled with negative thoughts, you can’t go forward and take in the happiness waiting for you on the outside.

One of my practices is to put a spin on a bad situation and get something good out of it. You know, find that silver lining in the cloud. It’s always there, but sometimes you have to look a little harder to find it. You can also go outside for a few minutes and soak up some sunshine, meditate or create art. There are lots of things you can do to change your mindset and “Choose” to be positive.

So, how do you get out of that rabbit hole of negativity?

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Thoughtful Thursday

The Art of Feng Shui – Declutter Your Home

With a little more extra time at home these days I’m paying attention to my surroundings more. I’m really noticing how looking at certain things can make you feel.

A few years ago a good friend introduced me to Feng Shui and I thought it was interesting but was very skeptical. The more I looked into it, the more it caught my attention. There are many books on the subject. But a lot of them get too technical and I just wanted a simple place to start. I have a few favorites that I’ll share at the bottom of this post. The main idea is to have good energy flow in your home. “Yes, this is a real thing.”

As we go through life, we collect lots of “stuff.” Whether it’s gifted to us, purchased as I’ll get to it some day, or a memory from a special time in our lives it really starts to accumulate. When too much “stuff” accumulates in our home, energy can stagnate. The funny part is most of this “stuff” we never even use or remember having because it’s simply put in some corner of the house and forgotten.

As I’m walking through my home, I see certain areas where the “stuff” has accumulated and I don’t like how it looks, much less how it feels. So to get the energy flowing again I’m decluttering those areas. I’m working on either giving away the “stuff” in good condition that some one else can use or tossing it. I only keep the what makes me happy.

You can easily get overwhelmed when starting this process, but take small steps. Divide a room into sections. Do one part of a room, then move to the next part and so on. If you have more time, keep going and knock more of it out. But by breaking it down into sections, it makes it more manageable and thereby more doable.

The most important key is to keep things decluttered and organized once you finish a section. It makes you feel good and keeps the positive energy flowing through your home and ultimately through your life.

Where is the energy stagnating in your home?

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A few of my favorite books:

  • “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
  • “Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui” by Karen Kingston
  • “Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day” by Cassandra Aarssen